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24 September 2015 @ 09:03 pm
NuWho Rewatch: A Town Called Mercy  

I've linked this before from my other LJ, but thought I'd put it here as well

At some point, daniel_saunders and I had a discussion about when it was the Doctor put all the angst and guilt about destroying Gallifrey behind him and, more specificially, Doctor Who as a show moved on from this plot point. I seem to recall that Daniel thought it had happened around the start of Eleven's tenure whereas I felt that A Town called Mercy was clearly retreading the same ground.

A Town called Mercy is clearly retreading the same ground even though, as Daniel pointed out at the time, the Time War and the destruction of Gallifrey are never actually mentioned. However it is a story that is explicitly talking about the aftermath of war and the treatment of war criminals. It is difficult not to think we are supposed to be drawing parallels with the Time War and the Doctor's behaviour is clearly influenced by his own guilt.

It's an excellent, self-contained story. It's tightly focused on its themes and doesn't give any easy answers to the questions it raises. Kahler-Jex's suicide is a somewhat convenient resolution to the immediate problem but within the constraints of a 45 minute family show, it's hard to see how things could have been wrapped up otherwise. The performances are excellent, though I imagine accents are wandering somewhat. It must be said, I'm coming around to the opinion that one of Moffat's strengths as a show runner, is in the commissioning of excellent standalone episodes, rather than his construction of arc plots.

Since Andrew Brooke refused to charge for the above I bought this from him as well.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/171639.html.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 24th, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC)
He's right, it's an excellent drawing!
louisedennislouisedennis on September 25th, 2015 10:16 am (UTC)
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on September 24th, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
I think it's a great drawing too.

I don't remember that conversation at all! I'm not sure I'd agree with my earlier incarnation - something to watch out for when I revisit the eleventh Doctor's era in the new year (hopefully). You (I?) are right that this feels Time War-orientated, and then there is The Day of the Doctor (which I assume was after the conversation). Then lately the Time War has come back to new Who, but I'd better wait until Saturday before passing judgment on that...
louisedennislouisedennis on September 25th, 2015 10:17 am (UTC)
I think the conversation occurred around the time of Day of the Doctor and centred around whether Gallifrey more or less needed to be saved just to stop the show endlessly irritating on the Doctor's guilt.
alumfelga: biggest familyalumfelga on September 24th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
Focus on the characters rather than action, wounded and guilty Doctor, serious issues that do not provide easy solutions. Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?

One of my favourite episodes of 11th era. Great drawing!
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on September 25th, 2015 10:18 am (UTC)
It's a good story, and thanks!